Thursday Night Football Begins This Week With A Stellar Matchup

Thursday Night Football on NFL Network returns this week with a matchup of 6-2 teams, the Atlanta Falcons hosting the Baltimore Ravens. Can’t ask for a better way to premiere an 8 game package of games. However, it also means the debut of motormouth analyst Joe Theismann who never passed the opportunity to talk into a microphone. With he and returning analyst Matt Millen together in the booth, play-by-play man Bob Papa may be lucky to get down and distance in before Theismann takes over.

We have a look at the particulars for NFL Network’s coverage this Thursday.

Joe Theismann Debuts on Thursday Night Football
Deion Sanders Sit Down Interview with Baltimore Linebacker Ray Lewis On Thursday Night Kickoff Presented by Sears Pregame Show at 6 PM ET
“Your Weekend Starts Here”
  • NFL Network and add a handful of new members to its Thursday Night Football coverage team. JOE THEISMANN joins play-by-play announcer BOB PAPA and analyst MATT MILLEN in the booth as a game analyst. KURT WARNER is a new analyst on Thursday Night Kickoff Presented by Sears from Los Angeles, along with host FRAN CHARLES and analysts STERLING SHARPE, JAY GLAZER, and JIM MORA.
  • “It’s a wonderful opportunity for me to get back where I always wanted to be and (where I) spent so many years in the booth.” – JOE THEISMANN on joining the Thursday Night Football broadcast as a game analyst
  • “Now we’re getting to see Joe Flacco open up his game personally, throw the football around a little bit more. I think the emergence of (Atlanta wide receiver) Roddy White in Atlanta has really taken Matt Ryan to another level.” – JOE THEISMANN on the development of quarterbacks Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan
  • Thursday Night Kickoff analyst DEION SANDERS sits down for an interview with Baltimore Ravens linebacker RAY LEWIS, the #18 player on The Top 100: NFL’s Greatest Players during the pregame show at 6 PM ET on NFL Network.

ANNOUNCERS: Bob Papa (play-by-play), Matt Millen and Joe Theismann (game analysts)

PREGAME (6:00 PM ET):  Thursday Night Kickoff

In Atlanta: Rich Eisen, Deion Sanders, Steve Mariucci, Marshall Faulk, Kara Henderson (on-site reporter); In Los Angeles: Fran Charles, Kurt Warner, Sterling Sharpe, Jay Glazer, Brian Billick, Jason La Canfora

PRE-KICK (8:00 PM ET):   Pre-Kick Show

Bob Papa, Matt Millen, Joe Theismann, Alex Flanagan, Rich Eisen, Marshall Faulk, Steve Mariucci, Deion Sanders

HALFTIME:  The Halftime Show
Rich Eisen, Deion Sanders, Steve Mariucci, Marshall Faulk, Kara Henderson

POSTGAMEPostgame Show
Rich Eisen, Deion Sanders, Steve Mariucci, Marshall Faulk, Kara Henderson
NFL Total Access Postgame Show
Fran Charles, Jamie Dukes, Rod Woodson

WHERE TO WATCHDirecTV – Channel 212 (SD/HD), DISH Network – 154 (SD/HD)
Verizon – Channel 88 (SD) 588 (HD), AT&T U-Verse – 630 (SD) 1630 (HD)
Check your local cable listings LIVE – live “look-ins” at select moments of game

NFL Mobile Live on Verizon Wireless

LOCAL OTA SIMULCAST*Baltimore: NBC Ch. 11 (WBAL)/Atlanta: MyNetwork Ch. 36

Thursday Night Football
NFL Network begins its fifth year airing the Thursday Night Football primetime package. NFL Network presents eight games in the key stretch of the season as teams jockey for playoff berths and seeding. 
This week, Thursday Night Football travels to Atlanta where the (6-2) Falcons host the (6-2) Ravens at the Georgia Dome in a battle of two of the top teams in the NFL. The matchup marks the first time that third-year quarterbacks JOE FLACCO (Baltimore) and MATT RYAN (Atlanta) will face each other. Both quarterbacks were first-year starters for their teams, and this season each ranks in the top 10 in passing yards.
This season marks the debut of new game analyst JOE THEISMANN, who returns to the broadcast booth after a successful stint with ESPN from 1988 – 2006. Alongside Theismann in the booth will be BOB PAPA, who returns for his third year as the play-by-play announcer for NFL Network, and second-year game analyst MATT MILLEN. Additional newcomers include producer ED FEIBISCHOFF and director ARTIE KEMPER.
RICH EISEN hosts NFL Network’s Thursday Night Kickoff from the stadium.  Eisen, a two-time Sports Emmy nominee in the Studio Host category, is joined by fellow Sports Emmy nominee STEVE MARIUCCI, a former NFL head coach with the San Francisco 49ers and Detroit Lions who also served as Brett Favre’s quarterback coach in Green Bay; MARSHALL FAULK, who won a Super Bowl XXXIV ring with the Rams, earned 2000 NFL MVP honors and three Offensive Player of the Year awards (1999-2001) and has been selected to seven Pro Bowls; and DEION SANDERS, a two-time Super Bowl winner who was 1994 Defensive Player of the Year and an eight-time Pro Bowler who holds the NFL record with 18 career return touchdowns. Coverage also includes on-site reports from KARA HENDERSON, who begins her eighth season with NFL Network, and sideline reporter ALEX FLANAGAN, who is in her fifth season with NFL Network, first as a sideline reporter on Thursday Night Football.
Additional coverage will be provided from NFL Network studios in Los Angeles with host FRAN CHARLES and analysts KURT WARNER, a two-time NFL MVP and a Super Bowl MVP quarterback; STERLING SHARPE, a five-time Pro Bowl selection and a 16-year veteran NFL broadcaster; JAY GLAZER, FOX Sports NFL insider and senior writer for; and BRIAN BILLICK, former NFL coach with the Baltimore Ravens who won a Super Bowl in 2000. NFL Network insider JASON LA CANFORA will also provide the latest updates. LIVE at 8:00 PM ET features live programming including live “look-ins” of Thursday Night Football, game highlights and instant analysis from NFL Network talent. From the NFL Network studios in Los Angeles, PAUL BURMEISTER, JAMIE DUKES, BUCKY BROOKS and MIKE MAYOCK provide expert analysis, commentary and fantasy information with contributions from Faulk, Mariucci and Sanders. Henderson and STEVE WYCHE will provide live reports from the stadium, while Mayock will return for a second season with ‘Instant Playbook’ from the NFL Films studios exclusively for Thursday Night Football, which provides instant X & O analysis of key plays right after they happen.
Following the game at 12:00 AM ET, NFL Network analyst ROD WOODSON will join Charles and Dukes for a postgame edition of NFL Total Access Live.

And you have the details of NFL Network’s coverage.

Ken Fang

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013. He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television. Fang celebrates the three Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.